The first of our New Zealand tours post-covid attracted a full house of 18 participants with Warwick Silvester hosting the group as tour manager and John Lawson behind the wheel of our coach. In Ohakune, Warwick lead us around his stomping ground and we learned of the fertile soils of the volcanic plateau, the fascinating history of the Tangiwai rail disaster and the story of the Old Coach Road.

There were many highlights especially riding the rail carts of the forgotten world, the Len Lye centre of New Plymouth and Tawhiti museum in Hawera, surely the best small museum in the country. We had added bonuses of talks by the founder of the railcarts, Ian Balme, and the creator of Tawhiti musuem, Nigel Ogle. We were lead through some of the best gardens of the New Plymouth Garden Festival by Allan Jellyman, the former director of parks for New Plymouth District Council and an absolute fount of knowledge.

We are planning more visits to Taranaki in the future. We will go back to the garden festival in October 2021, again with Allan Jellyman as our guide, plus a short break in May 2021 to experience the artisan food scene. Please get in touch if you are interested in visiting Taranaki with us in future.